A Parent's Guide to Setting Homeschool Hours

So youíve decided to home school! Congratulations on this new role which you have taken on in your life. Not that every parent isnít already a teacher. Of course they are! However, this is a different sort of teacher and this role will take careful planning in order to make it the very best role that you will play in your childís life that it can possibly be.

First of all, you will want to set aside certain hours that are designated school hours. Not that these school hours need to be inflexible, but the times when changes are made should be the exception, not the rule.

Have a certain area which you set aside as the classroom. This doesnít mean that you have to have a special room that is set aside with desks etc., but it does mean having one spot, such as the dining room table that is used consistently for this purpose during school hours. This will help both you and your child to develop a mind set of thinking of this as a time for learning as separate from a time for play or other activities.

Try to make sure that there are as few distractions as possible. Engage the help of your family and friends in this. Making them feel a part of this can go a long ways towards avoiding hurt feelings if you have to cut short a telephone call to get back to your work or if they come to visit and find that you really arenít available when school is in session.

If you are used to having a regular telephone ďgabfestĒ with a friend or family member at a certain time each day, maybe you can arrange your child's recess time to coincide with it. Most important, be sure to communicate to others the importance of your new enterprise of home schooling.

Perhaps someone likes to stop in and get you to go on spur of the moment shopping trips with them. Explain beforehand that you wonít be able to do this as regularly as before but you might also engage their help in planning educational trips and letting them be a part of those trips.

Donít think of yourself as ďplaying teacherĒ. You arenít playing. This is your job. One of the most important jobs you will ever have, in fact. Treat it that way. You are most likely homeschooling in order to see to it that your child has the best education possible. See to it that you donít short change them.

Plan ahead. Talk with other parents who are or who have home schooled. Have a curriculum planned. Donít just sit down at the table with your child and open a book to see what you will be teaching for that first class of the day. Study beforehand. Know what you will be teaching and have a plan as to how you will present each subject. Respect the homeschool hours the same as you would if you were working outside of your home. You can accomplish much and your childís successful education can be one of your greatest accomplishments.

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